David Goist | The Unvarnished Truth

Mar 23, 2024

02:00 PM - 03:00 PM

Stanley Museum of Art,

160 West Burlington Street, Iowa City, IA 52242

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David Goist with Monet painting

Join us for a talk on Saturday, March 23 at 2 p.m. featuring painting conservator and UIowa alum, David Goist. His presentation, aptly titled "The Unvarnished Truth," focuses on unvarnished paintings from the late 19th and 20th century and the artistic motivations behind leaving works unfinished. Applying a varnish to safeguard the delicate layers of a painting is a centuries-old tradition that offers a certain visual appeal but can alter the artist's original vision. Goist will reflect upon his impressions of paintings by Jackson Pollock, Robert Delaunay and others which he studied in museum spaces and elaborate on how they influenced his philosophy as a painting conservator.

David Goist is a long-standing member of the American Institute for Conservation (AIC) and has been a constant voice for the importance of conservation training and skill development. He earned his Master’s in Art History from the University of Iowa in the early 1970s. During this time, he worked as a graduate assistant at the UIowa Museum of Art where he studied unvarnished paintings in the collection and wrote a paper on it. He found inspiration in the legacy of fellow Iowan and University of Iowa alumnus, George Stout (1897-1978). A decorated World War II hero and member of the Monuments Men, Stout's unwavering commitment to protecting artistic heritage resonated deeply with Goist's own mission.

Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to attend all University of Iowa–sponsored events. If you are a person with a disability who requires a reasonable accommodation in order to participate in this program, please contact in advance at